For many of us, the past year has been challenging to say the least. Fortunately, better days might be ahead of us instead of behind. With a turn in the tide that is Covid-19, we may have a reason to smile again.
Last weekend, my wife and I went out to a public place for the first time in over a year. As a Type 1 diabetic, I remain a very paranoid person when it comes to being around people. Like many of us, I was recently vaccinated and that helped ease my apprehensions. Being vaccinated allowed me to take a step forward, and this weekend, I ventured out to the Boysenberry Festival at Knott’s Berry Farm.
Despite my concerns, we took a leap of faith and decided to try this event. Most importantly, I wanted to see how the Knott’s advertisement of the event lived up to the reality of the experience for its patrons.
First and foremost, there were tasting cards. Adults were given five meals to try, and children received three.
The second thing that stood out was getting tickets. Clearly, the theme park had put a cap on how many people could attend the event. Once there, the park was good to their word. I know what traffic and parking is like for a full house at Knott’s and this was nothing like a full house. Getting into parking wasn’t an adventure. I also noticed all employees were wearing masks and signs to the event were clearly marked. There were also signs throughout the park telling patrons they would need to wear a mask securely and abide by social distancing rules. For this paranoid diabetic, it made me feel better.
As we entered, we saw that social distancing was being strictly enforced and the signage about the rules was everywhere. When we got in, it felt good to be back at a theme park. Sure, there were no rollercoasters running, but just the ambiance of being there the immediately made me feel better about going.
Many in the crowd appeared to have come from an NBA event as I saw people left and right draped in Lakers purple. Although, maybe they were paying homage to the fruit of the day – the boysenberry. There was also great music being played throughout the park, the kind that just made you smile.
As we made our way in, I could hear people talking about life in general and nothing in particular… oh, and the laughing! I almost forgot what that was like to hear people laughing like that. There was an energy in the air that you only feel when you’re at an event.
Most of the eateries throughout the park took part in the event. There were so many great dishes! Who knew food could taste so good while smothered in boysenberry in one form or another. I must give the eateries a big thumbs up because the food was fantastic! Boysenberry-themed food mixed with other favorites such as pizza, pastrami sandwiches, étouffée, crazy good salads and the desserts… It was insane!
The sight of people accompanied by the aroma of great food in the air that made me feel like life was back to normal, even if just for the day. What I really appreciated was seeing tables throughout the park that were spread out, leaving nobody on top of one another.
Throughout the park, Knott’s employees were walking around with the signs reminding people to fully secure their masks and to abide by social distancing rules. I even saw a few employees politely remind patrons of the rules. Honestly, not one person objected and everyone was cordial. Truth is, no matter where you go, where there are people, you will always hear screaming or crying children with a parent or two yelling at their kids. Perhaps the absence of being among other human beings for so long was finally noticeable to me because neither of us minded at all. We took in and appreciated all the sights and sounds at the park that day like never before.
In the end, I was enjoying the food and being part of the human experience again instead of worrying what the guy next to me was doing. It was a very good day, a day we all could use again. Many people say that good food enhances any experience. For me, it was more like the experience itself was food for my soul. Good job Knott’s Berry Farm; I truly enjoyed spending the day at your event.
The event runs through May 2nd and gives us a glimpse as to what’s next for Knott’s. So what’s next exactly? The grand reopening that’s what! It is set for May 21st! So get ready, if the Boysenberry Festival was any indication of how to launch a re-opening, Knott’s is doing it right.
The folks at Ordinary Adventures did a nice job capturing the experience.